The Sequence of Death

Megan Forrester is an intelligent and brilliant VP of Marketing and Communication of the one largest oilfield services company in the US and a very successful woman career. She is a slim figure, intelligent and very attractive. She did a great job by closing $ 4.5 million deal.

Ronald Burst is the CEO was amazed of her success hence he sent her for a few days vacation.

During her absent, one by one of the board members die and she is suspected of committing a serial of brutal murders. If it is really her as a murder, how could she possibly doing all these murders whilst she is away? Did she ask someone to help for doing this arbitrary attack?

****

SUNDAY:

I woke up this morning and felt so freezing. I was too lazy to even lift my body up off the bed and my light brown wool blanket still wrapped my small body. I finally could managed and looked up the window and was amazed how beautiful the soft snow was covering all over my fences and trees and the icy December wind herded the pedestrian towards the comfort of their apartments and homes.  A couple was holding hands and passing by without saying a word. They were probably thinking of how to reach home soon as the lady was shaking.

I looked at the watch and it was 07:20 a.m. already, I walked into the kitchen and began to fix breakfast for myself. I made a cup of hot chocolate and put 2 slices of wheat breads in the toaster. I did not think it would be enough as I was really starving. I made an omelette as my choice this morning and mixed with milk, cheddar cheese and sweet cherry tomatoes. Ten minutes later, my breakfast was ready.

I sat down on the couch and grabbed my TV remote.  Watching CNN to know what was happening in this world. One headline mentioned about the racist happened again in Ferguson whilst a white police officer shot dead a black teenage boy. And the judges let him free, no guilt. What a cruel! I thought myself that if people just take a minute to think about the same in common that is happiness, I do not think there is discrimination, racist which is only caused riots, violation and vandalism. The world is already old and we need to live in harmony and peaceful.

MONDAY:

It’s Monday and I must reach the office before 08:00 a.m. as we have the last important meeting by 09:00 a.m. with Mr. Zaki Rashid, who was the owner of one of the largest oil company in the Middle East. I do not want to miss this great opportunity.

I walked toward the contemporary exterior building, in Market Street, San Francisco. It was an awesome establishment. A large brownstone building with a row of pillars in front and crystal clear of all the windows around.

“Morning Meg, how are you doing?” Wow! You look great and so confident this morning! So can you share with me what’s going on, mate?” Jack Sullivan is an Australian and France decent greeted me right on the entrance whilst he was holding the door for me. He was tall, handsome and had bright blue eyes. He was in his early thirties and single.

“Well, I could not feel any better, Jack!”, I replied with a big smile as I knew today is gonna  be my big day. “And yourself? Did you find the love-nest?

“Nah! Not last night, Meg” I had some good time with my mates,” he winked and smiled.

Jack and I had worked in The Future oilfield  service company for 7 years and it was one of the largest oilfield service company in the US. We graduated in the same year and the same university. While I worked in Marketing & Communication and he was in petroleum engineering. We had the same in common, having so much fun since at the University. And I admitted it that I liked him. He was full of surprises.

“So, would you like to have lunch with me today, Meg?”

“I am not quite sure, Jack. I need to make a report after the meeting”, I caught the disappointment on his face.

“No worries,mate! Maybe some other time,okay?”

Okay Jack, thanks!

We entered the same elevator. His office was on the 5th floor whilst mine was on the 10th.

“Okay, Meg, Enjoy the meeting” he winked.

“See ya”, I replied smiling.

I sat down, checking out my PC and starting to study the paperwork again for the meeting. I felt so nervous. I was just wondering why Ronald put so much trust on me to handle this. I am proud of myself, but just cannot stop my panic attack at this moment.

Ronald Burst came to my office. He was the CEO of the company. He was sixty years old, brown hair and serious look. “Are you alright, Meg?”

“Yes, I am”, I replied and trying to stay calm.

Okay, Cool! So ready for the next big step,right?

Yes, sir, of course! I just need to check and re-check for the meeting with Rashid and the board members”

Great! So we will meet at the meeting room in another 15 minutes, then…Oh..by the way Meg, I always trust you,okay?  “And I believe you will make it for all of us!” he forced a smile and disappeared.

Oh Shit! I feel more nervous now! Okay, relax Megan Forrester…relax… this is only a small thing and not the end of the world!! I calmed down myself and trying to build my confidence.

Rita knocked on my door and reminding me to be ready for the meeting in 5 minutes and I thanked her for it. She was my secretary, pretty young girl , blonde short hair, and smart. Most of my male colleagues liked her. She had been working for 2 years now. She was very responsible even though we were friends outside of the work. She could distinguish between the professional and personal life.

That night she came to my apartment and found me laying down on the floor with my left wrist blood was meant to me. She called the ambulance to save my life. That was a nightmare and the worst thing I had ever done in my life. Rob, my ex boyfriend suddenly called off the wedding for another girl. He left me with a heartbroken. I trusted him. We had been together for  5 years and engaged! I was numb and all the image about the future had suddenly gone. I swallowed antidepressant drugs and got a knife to end my life.

When I woke up, Rita was there standing next to me and I heard she was sobbing uncontrollably. I asked her to sit next to me.

“Rita, Why did you come and help me” you should have let me die!” I told her weakly.

“You called me to come to your apartment to get your paperwork for tomorrow afternoon presentation. You will attend “The Oil & Services Conference”at the Omni by nine, remember?

Rita started to cry and said. “I will never ever let you die, Megan”! ”Is this because of your fucking careless and cheating boyfriend, Rob, right?”

I looked at her and could hardly register what she has just asked me.

“You knew that he cheated on you, fucking around with the chicks! He even kissed one of the bitch in front of you, and you still forgave him?! He did nothing to you! Nothing!!! You are beautiful, attractive, intelligent, and very successful woman! And you were trying to kill yourself for that bastard?! What the hell is wrong with you, Meg? Tell me, what did he give you!!! Rita said angrily.

She was surprising me. I did not expect all those words from the girl who was 10 years younger than me.

My tears rolled down my cheeks. “Sorry… I am so sorry..”only those words could have come out of my mouth. I choked.

She hugged and kissed my cheek. “You got to try to erase all the memories with him and move on!”

I nodded sadly.

I have never expected how Rita cared so much about me. That was the moment we became close friends.

09:00 a.m.

The meeting started right on time. The elegant architecture, interior, leather chairs along a highly polished long table. Everybody was ready for the show. Ronald, Rashid, Hussein was the secretary of Rashid, Tod Palmer was the Field HSE Advisor , Arthur Van Dyck was the Financial Analysis, Susan Taylor was the General Manager, Bryn Mckenzie was the Manufacturing & Supply Chain Director and myself.

Ronald started with a small talked and letting me to present the last meeting to Rashid, and other board members.

“Good morning gentleman.. and Susan”

I decided to present straight to the business core. “We discussed in our previous meeting about falling oil prices and the impact on oilfield service demand. As we all know oil prices have dropped from the comfortable level of 105-110 USD/bbl in July towards the 90 USD/bbl mark that we see today. The E&P companies were under a large pressure the last years due to galloping costs, and the result has been delayed and cancelled projects,reducing their investment commitments.

A falling oil prices will continue to make the situation worse, as activity on marginal projects becomes uncommercial. Therefore, there is a huge demand for oilfield service company to providing rig and supply database, floating drilling market, offshore projects etc.

We “The Future oilfield service company” has been providing the excellent service for more than 50 years, we have focused on leveraging these assets to deliver solutions that improve customer performance. With 175 research and engineering facilities worldwide, we place strong emphasis on developing innovation technology that  adds value for our customers hence we strongly believe that you will make a great decision to work together with us in The Future oilfield service company”…………..

After forty five minutes, Arthur started to show us the financial analytic chart. His mind worked faster than the calculating machines provided in the entire California. He was a weirdo but no doubt, he was incredibly genius. We were lucky to have him in this company.

Pfftt…finally!  I sat down on my chair and exhaled feeling relaxed now. It was quite tight discussion and I would never forget about that. Arthur came to my office and smiled and said “We did it Meg, We are a really great team! And just keep our finger crossed to get the deal!”

“Absolutely Arthur, and you are genius as always! The calculation that you made on a chart was excellent! That’s what we planned”! Megan said with full of excitement and hugged him.

“…Yes…we did and what next?…” Arthur murmured.

03:00 p.m.

Ronald came to my office congratulating and kissing my cheek. Great! Well done, Meg! We are very proud of you. I told you that I trust you, Megan Forrester! So where are you going after?

“What do you mean by that?” I frowned.

Well, Meg, we got $ 4,5 Million in our business and that is only a starter. Of course I will give you an extra special gift and that will be out of the bonus!” Ronald convinced me.

“Thank you, sir, well I guess that I was supposed to do for this company”, I replied in disbelief.

O.K. whatever, but I want you to decide, where are you going for a holiday. I need to give you some time off and come back later on Monday. Take your boy friend, girlfriend whatever it is, just lemme know, okay?”, he disappeared.

Wow! Thank God, I did it! I did it!!! It was my great achievement for the entire of my career.

“Rita, can you come to my office, please?”

TUESDAY:

“Jack, I am going to Venice tomorrow until weekend” so I think we will see you again on Monday” I was so excited telling him this and waited to see how he reacted.

“Congrats, Megan!” I am very proud of you” yeah, I have heard that you did it again!”

Jack looked unhappy and I thought he was just jealous of my achievement and it was unusual though but I did not give a damn, I ignored it.

“Meg..um..can I take you for dinner tonight or would you like me to cook for you in my apartment?” I would like to celebrate your succeed, you know?” he grinned.

I did not want to disappoint him and I said “yes, I would love if you cook for me in my apartment?”

Absolutely princess, I will come at around 07:00 p.m, how does it sound?”Jack smiled.

C’est parfait! So see you there, Jack!…

07:00 p.m.

Jack came right on time. He was wearing a white shirt satin with two unbuttoned showed his muscular chest and blue jeans. He looked absolutely gorgeous.

“Hi Meg, you look wonderful!” he was checking me out and took my hand and kissed it.

“There will not be complete without this..” Jack smiled and showed me “Dom Perignon”.

“Absolutely Jack and thanks!”, I replied and smiled.

I guided him to the dining table and he was surprised. “Why did you prepare all this food, Meg” Isn’t it me who would like to cook for you tonight?” Jack surprised.

“Yeah,, I am sorry, I thought it would be better if I bought the food from “Catch”, so that we will save our time and plus I could wake up early morning to catch the flight to Venice, you know?” I replied with my big smile.

“Yes, you were right!” I love seafood by the way, great decision,Meg!”

I smiled and pouring the French Onion soup in the bowl for the two of us.

“How’s the soup, do you like it?” I asked after my first spoon

“Absolutely! The taste was amazing!” Jack replied and ready for the second spoon

The mixed green salad, The oysters, calamari and salmon were ready on the table.

***

“That was lovely dinner you have prepared, I love all the food you served. Merci beaucoup, Megan!”

“Je vous en prie” I replied. And we both smiled.

“There was silence. Jack rose and grabbing my hand and taking me to the balcony.

“You know,Meg, I like to be here” It’s such amazing view up here, beautiful, colorful lights of the Golden Gate bridge, the soft cool wind in the winter, I can feel the psychedelic breeze”.

His sparkling eyes looking deep inside of  me and I felt my heart throbbing and wanted to kiss his handsome face.

Jack leaned forward and kissed on my cold cheek. And he kissed my lips. And I kissed his lips. We pressed our lips under the moonlight. His hands started to explore, rubbing my back and pressing my breasts. I moaned into his mouth, clenching around him and he groaned. I unbuttoned his shirt and touched his big chest muscle. And I could feel the hardness of his body touched between my thighs.

He brought me to my bed starting to unzip my peach satin dress, my bra and…”Jack, please, stop it, I cannot do this”

“Why not”, he asked. “Are you still thinking about Rob?”

No, it’s not the case, but I just cannot, please”.. and I started to cry and my hands pulled up the blanket to wrap my half naked body. I knew that I hurt him.

Jack stood up with a sharp pang of disappointment. “It’s okay, Meg” he managed. “I am not gonna do this if you are not ready” and you know  that I am not gonna disappoint you, right?”

“You take care and enjoy your holiday in Venice” and I will be waiting for you here” Jack said and left.

“I watched him leaving…”I will never be ready for you, Jack Sullivan, I love someone else”

***

WEDNESDAY:

“My apology, Ms. Forrester, I understand that you booked for twin beds, and apparently the room is still occupied, would you mind waiting for another two hours, please?” the receptionist was explaining to us politely.

“We’ll take a king-size bed then”, do you have? Rita gave a quick response before I even think about it.

“Yes, we do, Mam.” And after 5 minutes, the receptionist handed over the key. “Alright, Ms. Forrester, your room number is 1180 on the eleventh floor. Would you like to be escorted, mam?”

“No, thanks, we can find our room”, eleventh floor, right? Rita said.

***

This what they called Monalisa Ladies Floor. We entered the living room and looking around the antique Italian decoration, Monalisa painting hanging on the wall of rose-pink colour, a contemporary leather white sofa placed nicely around the corner, the luxury drapes white and pink curtain in the living room. We passed the small dining room and kitchenette. As we entered the bedroom, Rita looked in surprise. The bedroom had artistic architecture, elegant and graceful with a huge king-size bed. The pink silk organza bed cover folded on the edge of the bed, L’Objet with fresh fruits on it, and the interesting thing was the mirror placed right above the bed so we could see each other whilst laying down there.

“This is amazing, Meg, and thank you for inviting me to join your holiday!”Rita was so exciting.

“You deserve it, Rita. You saved my life and I owe you, thank you!”

“Oh please not again, but you do not need to do this”, I care about you”, she winked. How cute she was when she smiled.

***

THURSDAY:

Early Thursday morning, Tod’s body was found in the parking lot with two obvious gunshot: one was on the chest and another one was on the forehead. The body was lying next to his car and the rear window was spattered with blood.

The San Francisco Police Department came to the scene and installed the police line around the parking lot. They started to investigate.

“It was not robbery”, Inspector Julian checked Tod’s wallet. He checked inside the car and the trunk. Everything was still there.

“So, you think it was kinda revenge or something ?” Detective  Lorrie asked.

“We  do not know yet, we need to investigate further.” Who found the body?

“Steve, security night shift found the body at around 05:00 a.m.”

“Okay, I need to get the surveillance tape”

“I am sorry, sir, the surveillance camera was broken and I think the suspect broke it before he murdered him”, Officer Mike said.

“Damn it!” Julian said angrily. “Okay, we need to interrogate Steve.

***

Inspector Julian O’Connor was a first class-detective and smart. He guided Steve to the interrogation room whilst Detective Lorrie Button was watching from the back of the wall. Lorrie was charming, smart and bold. They had been partners for three years.

“So, when you were in charge that night when the murder happened, did you hear anything like fighting or gun shot ?”, Julian questioned.

“I did not hear anything,sir”. “I was patrolling on the other side of the building at that time as we have a schedule for our job, sir”, Steve replied innocently.

“Were you alone?” Julian was curious. “No, sir. I was with Tony but he was on patrolling inside the building and my other colleague, Martin, was in sick leave and will be back tomorrow”…

***

“Meg, I am sorry to disturb your holiday but I would like to let you know what has just happened” Jack told Meg over the phone.

“What happened?” I was curious. “Tod’s dead!” he replied.

“Oh no, what happened” I asked.

“We do not know yet, the SFPD are still investigating” he said. There was a silence.

“Um.. Meg..Is everything alright with you?” May I ask how is your holiday?

“I do not know Jack, it was only one day and I have heard this murder. Tod is a nice man, you know? I just could not believe about what happened. What did Tod do? Any idea, Jack?”

I had no idea, Meg”, maybe he has lots of debt needed to pay on time, or his daughter rejected one of her male friends who mad in love with her?

Stop it! This is ridiculous!… I snapped him.

“How do I know? I do not even know Tod, right? You have known him better” he replied.

Listen, I know this is hard for you and I am so sorry that you have to know this but I do hope you just enjoy your holiday and I will be waiting for you here, okay? I miss you”.

Jack does not know that I am with Rita and he thought that I travelled alone.

I finally said “Okay, thank you Jack”. I hung up the phone.

***

Rita was standing next to me and she hugged me. We both know Tod . He had been working for 12 years. He was in the late fifties, caring and loving person. He made a joke sometimes. He had a wife and 3 teenage daughters.

“It must be very hard for the family”, I said.

“And hopefully the police will find the killer soon”, Rita replied.

FRIDAY:

07:00 a.m.

My alarm woke me up and looking for Rita. She was not on the bed. Where is she?

I walked toward the living room and found her sleeping on the sofa. I bent down and kissed her cheek and she opened her eyes.

“Morning, gal, it’s shiny day, look!” I opened the curtain and showing her how beautiful Venice was in the morning. The sunlight came into the room and shining every corner in this ancient decoration Italian style.

“Why did you sleep here?” I asked.

“I could not sleep last night and decided to watch a movie here” she replied.

Okay, so did you sleep well?

Yeah, I slept like a baby!! she winked.

“Let’s get ready to the detour today” I pulled her hand to get up.

***

Wonderful! We were exploring the small waterways and back-streets of Venice. The Grand Canal is so beautiful with all the bridges and sights, its such a perfect and breathtaking!

Rita was holding my hand and put her head on my shoulder. I glanced at her. She was so different at work, focus and mature. She could absolutely be my sister. A sister that I have never had in my life. I have three brothers and that made me want to have a sister eagerly.

12:00 p.m.

We decided to have lunch at Trattoria Casa Mia which was 50 feet off the main drag, Strada Nuova. The food was delicious, service cheery and value excellent. We did enjoy our first day in Venice.

04:00 p.m.

Rita threw her body on the sofa. “It was so wonderful today. I am very happy and enjoy. Thanks so much, Meg!”.

“Sshh..please do not ever mention again, okay”? I smiled and walking toward the shower.

***

“Meg, do you think Tod was killed for the debt he left?” Rita asked with interest.

“I had no idea, why suddenly did you ask me?”

“No, I just feel that he is still alive.. he has been just like a father to me” I could not believe that someone killed him”

“Yeah, I could not believe it either” I said.

“Okay, let’s get some sleep, we are going to Milan tomorrow morning”, I reminded her.

“You go ahead, I will text my sister for a minute to feed  my beautiful Australian Shepherd right on time, otherwise he will die soon!” she blinked and smiled.

“Non e un problema” I said in Italian that I have just learned from our tour guide.

10:00 p.m.

I laid down on the bed and pulling up the blanket ready to sleep. Twenty minutes later, Rita was already next to me. I could feel that she moved closer to me. I opened my eyes and she was looking deep into my eyes. And she smiled “You are beautiful,Meg”.. “You too, Rita, you are stunningly pretty and sweet” I replied.

Rita leaned forward and kissed my lips. I gasped in surprised. Her kiss was so soft and crisp. I felt different when I kissed a man. I kissed her back. Our lips pressed and the tongue danced together. She was slowly moving on the top of my body and pulling me forward. We kissed again very passionately. I moaned when she left my lips and kissed down my neck, pulling my shirt over my head. And I kissed her soft neck and pulling out her shirt and we kissed again and again. My heart speeding up as she slid her fingers around my shorts and pulling it off along with my panties. She caressed my body and my breasts gently. I loved the gentleness of every single thing she did to me. I felt so amazing …. It was such a great pleasure! I have never felt like this before.

We were both laying down on the bed and watching our naked body in the mirror above the bed. We smiled and chuckled.

“Your body is the next best thing to having a body like this myself. You are perfect, I love everything about you”, she said.

“Thank you but nobody is perfect. Now, let’s get some sleep”, I said.

“I love you, Meg”

“I love you too,” and we kissed again.

I put my arm on Rita’s chest. She was mesmerized and I knew that I loved her the moment she kissed me at the hospital and I knew that I have crossed the line…

***

Back in San Francisco, There were some people still in the office extending their office hour on the weekend as the year would be changed with a few week times. The budget, recruitment so forth to be prepared for the next year.

Susan and Bryn were still there and having a serious conversation in the meeting room. They were  discussing about capex and opex. She was forty two years old, a  widow and no kids. She was pretty, blonde long hair and a good figure. And Bryn was thirty, cute and thin.

Thirty minutes later, they were enjoying having a sex. Bryn laid her down on her back on the table with her butt hanging slightly off the edge, and then he held her legs up with her feet on his shoulders. They looked at each other and pressed their lips passionately. He kissed all over her face and going down on her nipples and his hand cupped her breast. Susan moaned and her shoulders resting on the table. He thrust inside of her, rocking back and forth harder and harder.

“Oh, please do not stop, Bryn, it has been a long time I have not got this”,Susan said. No, never, darling, I wanna pleased you! Oh God!!! They both were climaxed. Bryn, it was amazing! … And you were wonderful. They kissed each other again.

Bryn looked at the watch and it was already 09:30 p.m., He pulled up the pants and dressed up ready to go back home. He offered Susan for the lift, but she refused as she had still things to be done.

“Bryn, you are great! I did not expect that we did it” she smiled. “You too, Susan, and we can do it again later”, he winked and kissed her.

“You take care and see you on Sunday” she waved.

***

SATURDAY:

Martin, who came back from the sick leave found Arthur’s body at Janitor on his office floor on the 5th level. Martin was curious when found  out the door ajar. The door was supposed to be close as the office boy was on the day off. He entered and turned on the light. He gasped and staring at the terrified body. Martin called his partner Steve through his radio. Arthur’s body was cold already. He got stabbed in his chest by a stainless ruler and the Mont Blanc was stuck in his neck. Blood soaked his shirt.

Martin called the SFPD immediately.

Meanwhile Tony was patrolling from the 6th until 10th floor. It was the highest floor and occupied by most of the board members.

Tony walked toward the meeting room as he saw the lights on. He stepped back when he was seeing Susan’s body hanging with the eyes stared empty and terrified.

He called Martin telling him that he found another body hanging in the meeting room.

Thirty minutes later, the SFPD arrived to the crime scene. “We have got double homicide”, Julian told Lorrie when she came. “Okay, I will check on the 5th floor and you go to the 10th, okay?” Julian said. And Lorrie nodded.

Julian went up to the 5th floor to the crime scene. The police line had been installed. He was checking out Arthur’s body. “Mike, can you come and have a look at this please?” he asked Mike the officer from the forensics unit while he was wearing the glove and ready to examine. “Yes, sir, of course” Mike said.

“Sir, can you see this,please”? Mike showed the stainless ruler and Mont Blanc pen in the plastic bags.

“What is it?” Julian checked on the stainless ruler and a Mont Blanc pen. Holy crap! What the hell is this? MF name was written on the stainless ruler. And who the hell was MF?

On the other floor, Lorrie asked the officer to turn Susan’s body down. She checked and there was no sign of violation. It was pure hanging… “hm.. looked like she was committed suicide”, Lorrie thought.

***

SUNDAY:

08:00 a.m.

Detective O’Connor came to Ronald Burst to let him know what had happened to his colleagues and asked him to come to the Police Department for some questions as they found MF initial on the stainless ruler for murdering Arthur and Bryn’s semen on Susan’s underwear.

“Do you know by any chance how could it be possible that MF initial on the stainless ruler to kill Arthur?” Julian asked Ronald. And who is MF?

“What? Ronald asked surprisingly. MF is Megan Forrester and she is one of our board members.  And ….I am sorry, I have no idea and honestly, I do not believe that she killed Arthur” he replied.

“Why you are so sure about it?”

“Yes, she is in Venice right now for holiday”, Ronald explained.

“So, when is she coming back”? Ronald looked at him in disbelief as if Megan is a suspect. As though reading his thought, Julian said “We just need to give her some questions”.

“And by the way, we also need to bring Bryn down here as we found his semen on Susan’s underwear”

This time, Ronald’s mouth fell open and could hardly believe what he has just heard, “w-w-what?

“Yes, we assumed that they had sex before she was murdered or…commited suicide”, Julian explained.

“No, I do not think Susan killed herself. She was bright and happy person”

“You think Bryn killed her?”

“I did not say that, but Susan was not the type of person to end her life by doing this” and I had no idea if they liked each other, I guess..”Ronald looked doubt on his face.

“Yes, we had no find any violation or sexual assault.. Anyway, we will investigate Bryn”.

Ronald was trying to call Megan on her mobile but no response. She might have a flight to San Francisco already…

05:00 p.m.

Detective Julian and his partner Lorrie were standing outside the door of Ronald Burst’s big amazing house with the large beautiful garden around. Julian rang the doorbell and someone opened it.

“Yes?”, a woman was in her fifty and gray hair greeted.

“Good afternoon, mam,  I am detective Julian O’Connor and my partner detective Lorrie Button” Julian showed the badge. And we would like to see Ronald Burst, is he here?

“Yes and please come in, I will call him”, a woman pleased them. Jane was one of his servants who had worked with Ronald for twenty years. She had been loyal to the family and was very sad losing Ronald’s wife and to their children who moved out from the house to pursue their careers.

The two detectives were looking around the living room, mesmerizing the tastefully furnished, with a large chesterfield sofa, flanked by two Chippendale chairs and a tapestry. Ronald’s family picture was hanging on the wall. He had a beautiful wife who died in a car accident two years ago. He devastated ever  since and decided not to re-marry with someone else. He has two successful sons, who both lived in New York.

Ten minutes later…Nooo!! Help…help…. somebody help me, please!!! Jane’s voice was heard from a long distance.

Julian and Lorried looked at each other and ran into Jane. They saw someone was floating in the pool with prone position and it was Ronald’s body. Ronald Burst is dead!

At the same, Bryn called Megan on her mobile whilst she had already arrived home. He told the entire stories right from Tod, Arthur and Susan’s death.

“Ho-w and w-why did this happ-een, Bryn?” I asked and felt terrified.

“I don’t know… I don’t understand either”.. and Meg, you were suspect”, Bryn replied.

“W-w-what??! How could it be possible?” You and everybody knew that I was in Venice, right?”

“Right, I had no idea either”. Ronald told me that the police found your Mont Blanc and stainless ruler with your initial which was used to kill Arthur”

“Impossible!” I kept my pen and ruler in my drawer and it was locked!”.

At 05:30 p.m., Ronald’s body was taken out of the pool. Julian and the forensics team started to check out Ronald’s body.

“Hey, sir, check this out!”, the officer Mike said to Julian.

“What is it?”, Julian asked.

“Look!” He got a throat strangled  and the arm got bruised, it looked like injection!”

Julian stepped closer to checked the bruises on the neck and arm. It looked like he was injected with a fatal dose of drugs either typically a barbiturate, paralytic or potassium chloride.

Mike was taking the rope which was used to strangle and taking the pictures of the body, bruised on the neck and arm. He opened Ronald’s mouth and got a cotton bud to get the saliva for the DNA test.

Julian was checking the pool area and found Ronald’s mobile on the lounge chair. He was searching for the short message send and call history. He found Megan’s name in the last call he made.

***

I was still with Bryn on the phone. And he was afraid that he was going to be the next.

“Meg, I am afraid “

“Me, too and I think someone was playing around with us. I have been trapped!” I started to cry.

“Pull yourseIf together and lets think what we can do. I am really, really curious who killed them?” Bryn said angrily. And Meg, do you think you can trust Rita? I-I- mean, sorry, you said earlier that your drawer was locked and do you remember that you have probably told someone about the drawer key?

“It is only Rita knows it, but I do not think…” No! Bryn, I do not think she killed them, I am very sure about it!

“How could you be so sure?”

“Yes, because she was with me in Venice!” She told everybody that she visited her grandmother in San Diego but she was with me” I convinced Bryn.

“Alright Meg and….”Bryn stood still and looked at the mirror with fear as a man was standing behind him. He was still holding the phone with the mouth fell opened. He turned the body to face him and putting the phone unhooked slowly.

“Bryn? Are you there? Bryn?!

“Who are you?”, Bryn asked the man with trembling fear.

“You do not know me?”

Byrn was thinking and trying to figure it out who was he.

“I know you, you are Megan’s friendliest, right?” I saw you a couple days ago having lunch with her”

“You are wrong, my friend!”, I am Jack, Jack Sullivan, Meg’s lover! Don’t you know that?” Jack snapped him.

“Okay,okay, what do you want?”

Jack grabbed the chair and sat in front of him. “You know what, Bryn?” I want to kill you.

Bryn looked terrified “W-why do you want to kill me?” W-what did I do to you?”

Well Bryn, I killed Tod, Arthur, your bitch Susan and Ronald, and now, I am going to kill you! Why? Because I have to pay my $ 2,5 M for my debt! I got the code number for the safety box in the account and the money was in my hand. Arthur gave me the code and I sneaked up to Meg’s office to get her Mont Blanc to kill him.So the people assumed that Megan Forrester killed Arthur!” Jack said with a big smile.

“You trapped Megan” How could you do that? You-you said that you love her?”

Yes, indeed! I love Megan Forrester and I wanna marry her! But she rejected me many times and it made me feel so useless! She hurt me, you know? She really does! And I  want to do what she deserves” Jack stared at him.

“And why did you kill Tod, Arthur, Susan and Ronald?”, Bryn was encouraged to ask.

“I did not mean to kill Tod, but he did not want to cooperate with me for this conspiracy, so I shot him dead! And I killed Arthur after giving me the bank account’s code of the company because I was so sure that he would tell everybody that I was a scumbag, which was true! he smiled.

Susan? She caught me sneaking into Ronald’s office looking for something to finish him. And I grabbed her to the meeting room.

And did you kill Ronald? That was a personal reason actually. I hate him because as a Senior Engineer, he had never involved me with any important projects. So I killed him!” Jack looked satisfied.

“And w-why do you want to kill me?”

“Bryn, I want to kill you with no reason. I just want to finish all the board members so that the San Francisco Police Department will arrest Megan Forrester and I will resign moving to New York and starting my new life with $ 2 M! Do you think is enough? Do you?? “Jack looked angry suddenly when he found out that the phone unhooked. He grabbed the knife from his back pocket.

Bryn gasped and stepped back ready to run, but Jack grabbed his hand and put the knife in his throat. His other hand reached the phone “Hello my darling?” How are you? Did you listen to our conversation, sweetheart? And I know you like surprises, do you?” Jack spoke with me.

“Y-you are sick!” I could not believe that you did this all just to surprise me?  I am going to call the police!” I threatened.

“Call the police and they are not gonna believe in your story”

“Yes, they are, because I have recorded!”

Jack hung up the phone.

***

I was frightened and almost fainted. I could manage to sit and searched Detective Julian’s number.

“Detective Julian speaking”

I am Megan Forrester and please come to the Boulevard Hill apartment on Main street. My friend Bryn was in danger”,

“Alright, Ms. Forrester, I will ask my partner, Detective Lorrie to the crime scene, but I am going to pick you up to  come to the police department, please. We have some questions regarding to Arthur and Ronald’s brutal murder.”

“I can explain that”, I said quickly.

Thirty minutes later, I was already in the investigation room. The room was a quite small, one square table with two wood chairs. I was shaking when I entered the room as I had never expected that I was in there. I looked at the window and thinking there should be someone or other officers watching me during the interrogation. I felt like I was in the movie.

“Ms. Forrester, could you please tell me, how could your Mont Blanc be used to kill Arthur Van Dyck?”, Julian asked.

“Just call me Megan”

“Okay”, Julian nodded.

“I honestly know idea”. I kept my Mont Blanc in my drawer and it was locked”

“Did you ever tell someone where did you keep the key drawer”

“Yes, I told Rita, Rita Wagner, my secretary”

“How long has she been working with you? And do you trust her?”

“She has been working for two years now and yes, I do trust her”

“Any idea where was she when it did happen?”

“Yes, she was with me in Venice”

“Hmm, Okay, so you think she told someone about the key?”

“Um…I do not think so”…

“Okay! So what about Ronald? Did he call you the day he was murdered?”

“I think so. I got a notification on my mobile that Ronald’s number tried to call me and I think I was on my way to San Francisco”, I replied with confidence.

***

Lorrie found Bryn’s body in the dining room laying with the hand held the throat, blood spouting through his fingers. Lorrie checked his body and found the Swiss pocket knife stuck in his chest. He is a psychopath killer.

“I got a body here”, Lorried told Julian over the phone. Bryn Mckenzie is dead murderer.

“How could he kill?

“Got cut throat and sliced the chest and left the marks, saying “JS”. And I think he killed him with a Swiss pocket knife. I found it was stuck on his tummy!”

“Holy Shit!!!”,O.K, I see you there!” Julian hanged up the phone. I am going to send the officers to her apartment to watch, she is in danger.

“Megan, Bryn Mckenzie is dead!” Julian said.

There was a pause as I could not say anything. I felt so terrified and deeply sad. Five of my colleagues on the board were dead and Jack the one who did this horrendous crime. I could not believe it.

“Hallo?” you still there?” I am sorry about what happened  and we promise to bust this bastard very real soon!”, Julian calmed me down.

“We are going to send some officers to your apartment, because we knew that he is running after you”

“Okay”, that’s all I could say. I choked.

MONDAY:

07:00 a.m.,

One officer was standing by my apartment.  He is young and good looking face. He was walking between the back area and balcony to check if everything was fine and sometimes he talked on his radio with his two senior colleagues who were watching my apartment from the car which was parked in front.

I walked to the kitchen to make some breakfast, but then I realised that was already late. I should reach the office fifteen minutes before eight. I was reluctant to come back to work and still could not accept what happened to those innocent people who were close to me at work. We had a great team. My tears started rolling down my cheeks whilst I was having a bite.

“Morning, mam, are you alright?” Ryan greeted me in the dining room.

“Morning Ryan, I am okay, thanks” I replied reluctantly. “Want breakfast?” I said.

“No, thank you, I did” Ryan smiled at me. He was friendly and has good teeth.

08:00 a.m.,

I was already at my desk checking the drawer which I kept my Mont Blanc there. I would ask Rita about this and… Rita burst into my office and hugged me.

“I am so sorry about what happened. And I thank God that you’re alright. I was worried about you” Rita sobbed.

“Yeah, I am okay and I have one police officer watching in my apartment, so do not worry”, I cried and calmed her down.

“By the way, could I ask you something?”

“Yes, sure..and what is it?” she looked at me curiously.

“Did you ever tell someone or ….Jack about my drawer key?

“No, never” …umm…oh, I remembered the day when Jack was looking for you. He came here and asked you. And at that time, I put the key on my desk and left for lunch” Oh..Meg, I am so sorry, he might have taken the key to be duplicated!” Rita started to cry again.

“It’s okay honey, it was not your fault. You do not know Jack and neither I, but I learned from what happened” I hugged her.

06:00 p.m.,

Rita and I were heading toward my apartment. Rita was quite stubborn enough not to let me alone in my apartment. She was too worried about me though I asked her to go home. She loved me so much and I will never ever let someone hurt her. Are we going to marry? Well, I am not going to think about this at this moment, what I do is to keep each other safety and let the SFPD catch this bastard!

07:00 p.m.,

We were in my bedroom and both threw our body in the comfortable bed. She held my right hand and got up with her elbow to support her tiny body. She leaned and kissed my lips. Our lips touched and we kissed very gently. I could feel her love which was flowing down to my heart. I wanna spend the rest of my life with her.

“I love you,” she said with her sparkling eyes and looked happy.

“I love you too, and now, can I take a shower, please?” I smacked her sexy butt.

“Of course, la mia bella donna! “she giggled. “And I will prepare dinner for us!”,she kissed me and left.

I was taking a hurried shower and heard the sound. A door opening? Or closing? I turned off the shower, listening, my heart pounding. Silence. I stood there a moment, my body glistening with drops of water, then hurriedly dried myself and cautiously stepped into the bedroom. Everything appeared to be normal.

“Rita, are you there?”. Silence, maybe she was busy preparing dinner and having a chat with Ryan down there. I was a bit jealous though. I walked to the lingerie drawer to get my panties and bra.

I gasped when I heard my bedroom door closed. I turned my body and seeing Jack was already there. Stood still. I covered my body with a towel. Jack was staring at me with angry looked.

“You played with a fire, Meg! You were playing and fooling me around!”

“What do you mean? Jack, if you think that I am your lover, that was totally wrong. I like you very much, but I do not love you. We are friends, Jack!”

“But you know that I love you. And how could you love someone who cannot even be with you?” I had been waiting for you to break up with Rob and hoping you will be with me. And now? What I see is that you are pathetic!!!

Jack took the knife from his back, a shiny one of my knife from the kitchen. I was scared to death when he moved closer. He pushed me to the wall beside my bed and grabbed the towel from my body and saw me only with panty and bra. He sliced off my bra with the knife. And I covered my breast with my both hands shaking.

“Don’t!” Jack said. I wanna see these beautiful things you have. He touched my breast with one hand while another one was still holding the knife. He leaned down and kissed my breast and sucked my nipple. I was thinking of running away and called Ryan and Rita. I wondered what were they doing down there and did not know Jack was already here. Jack’s hand rubbed my back and touched my very sensitive area. He stood there still and unzipped his pants. He pushed me to the wall and I  stood still but Jack put the knife in my throat now. And once I moved I am dead.

“I do not understand why you don’t love me?” Am I not quite handsome for you? Am I not quite smart? Tell me!!! I can give everything you want. Okay, I will get you out of here and we go to wherever you want, I will marry you and we will have a family. Don’t you understand that???!!! Hah?!!

I started to cry and confused. And I kept thinking to get out of here. My hand was busy looking for a pen that I used to put on my desk with the notebook but I could not reach them. I could only reach a table lamp. I will use this no matter what, I have to get out of here!

I hit his head very hard with the table lamp and saw the blood spurted. He held his head and stepped back tottered. I took the chance to escape. I ran and closed the door behind. I was looking for Rita and Ryan, but I could not find them.

“Ryan…Rita…, where the hell are you?” I called them whispering. No answer. I walked into the kitchen and got a butcher knife. I heard the footsteps and I ducked myself hiding. The rooms were dark and I wondered that the lights were off or someone turned all the lights off.

“Megan, you cannot run away from me, hah! I am gonna get you”!!! Jack yelled.

I saw my den’s door ajar and I walked on tiptoe carefully and trying not to make a noise. I closed the door and it was dark here. I almost fell down when I stumbled something. I saw a small light beaming on the floor. I guess that was a mobile phone. I grabbed it and it was Rita’s mobile. I used the light to see what I stepped on it.

“Errgg!”” Geez! It was Rita! I shook her body, but she did not move. I touched her pulse but nothing. “Rita..honey..please wake up! Please, it’s me Meg. Rita! I kept shaking her body but she did not move.” I sobbed and hugged her. Rita is dead!

I checked on her mobile and aghast finding out that Rita was trying to call me. And I knew that I put my mobile on my bed while I was in the shower. I was just about to call 911 but heard the footsteps in front of the den. I hid. Jack entered and turn on the lights. He saw me, but I pushed him hard and ran. I kept running and saw Ryan laying on the floor with the knife stabbed on his forehead and blood all over the body and carpet of my living room. I am terrified. Jack turned all the lights on. He was getting angry now.

“Meeggg!!! Get out or I will kill you now! You see, your lover dead?? She deserved it because she took you from me! You cannot run away from me, bitch!

Jack was in the living room now and saw me. A-ha! There you are! Come here, baby, let’s make a family!”

“You are insane, Jack!” I screamed with my tears rolling down my cheeks.” I am sorry for myself that I have ever closed to you. I wish I could turn back the clock to not knowing you at all!”

“Gimme tha knife!” You are not a killer, c’mon, gimme the knife!

Jack moved closer and I tried to scare him off with the knife. He grabbed my hand and took the knife from me. He stabbed my stomach and I felt dizzy. I held my open wound with my both hands and tried to walk toward the kitchen. I lost lots of blood and fell down. I could still see Ryan’s body and the pistol in the holster. I crawled to reach that. And Jack did not waste the time to finish me. He stabbed my back and I felt the pain badly, but I did not want to give up. I did not want him to be alive. He deserved to die. I kept crawling and crawling.

“What are you going to do, bitch?!” You wanna call the police?” You wish, hah?  I saw Jack trying to get the gas and matches. I think he will burn us and the apartment. He was an absolutely psycho!

I took the chance to get the pistol from Ryan. I opened the holster with my shaky hands. Please, God, help me, make me strong. I need you!!!

“You are psycho, Jack Sullivan! And you have to responsible for what you did to all of my colleagues and Rita. You deserve to die”! I spoke with a trembling voice standing right and pointing the gun at him.

“Well, well, well, you have guts to kill me?” C’mon, shoot me, shoot me, bitch!!! He was walking toward me still holding the matches.

“Don’t move or I shoot you”

“Shoot me, bitch!!!”

Jack was walking toward me “You know, if you wish you can turn back the time, I wish you could love me I do to you. And this shit is not going to happen. I have been trying to impress you to love me but what I did was nothing to you. If you could have just loved me for one minute, Meg, I would be happy…but you-you just ignored me. I let you love Rob and I wish you could be with me. And then… you-you love Rita. You broke my heart. You really do not care about me”…he said desperately.

“I care about you. I was so happy having you as my best friend”, I said.

“A friend?” I want to spend the rest of my life with you, don’t you understand?”

He started to cry…. and you know, when I met my family back in Australia, I showed my parents your photos when we were spending time together in Bali. My parents really wanted to see you.

He was standing very close to me now and I was listening to him and did not realize that he took the pistol from me. He was staring at my eyes and leaning down to kiss me. His eyes were red and wild. I stood still feeling afraid. He rubbed my back and felt the solid fluid there.

“Oh, you are bleeding, honey?” and I think you need a doctor…um…I do not think so…I think you need this!” he put the pistol in my mouth and clicked it. I closed my eyes tightly.

“Oh, you’re lucky, bitch”…any bullet inside here, hm.. let me check?”

I took the chance whilst he was unsteady. I ran and grabbed the knife from the dining table and threw it to him and lodged in his back. He was shocked and the gun out of his hand and fell down to the floor. He was trying to take the knife from the back and I did not waste the time to get the gun.

I crawled with the strength I had to reach the gun. God, please give me your strength. Thank God! I sat on the floor with legs stretched forward and pointing it at him.

“Hey!” come and get me, bastard! Jack stared at me with wild eyes. I did not let him speak again and shot him three times in his chest. He fell down with the blood splattered on the walls and my face. Thick blood was out of the chest and wet the floor.

I looked at his body stunned angrily. I tried grabbing the phone and called 911 “H-hello…h-help me..”

“Hold on, Mam, where is your location” the voice asked. “Ma’am..Ma’am..hold on!..Ma’am?”…

***

Two weeks later after recovering from the trauma, I went back to my apartment to pack all and moved. And before I left, I looked all around one more time and walked toward my bedroom and looked at the bed the last time I used with Rita. The tears rolled down on my cheeks thinking back how happy I was with her. You were the best thing I have ever had in my life, Rita and rest in peace. I love you.

The next morning, I was ready for heading toward Hilton Head Island. I bought a small beautiful house near the beach. The smell of the breeze, seagulls flying over the sea and the blue sky make me feel so peaceful. I wish Rita was here with me now. I would write stories and this place inspired me to put this gorgeous scene on the canvas. After all, Rita was right that no matter what happened in life, we have to forget, take the lesson and move on! I miss you, babe and thank you for always be there for me.

***END***

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